Holiday season has arrived, with decorations going up and people gathering to spend time together with loved ones. It can be an exciting time of year but also difficult for many. Here is a list of things you can do to bring joy to those who may need some extra support and kindness this holiday season.
Donate to your local foodbank. During the holiday season, many people gather and celebrate by bringing food or drinks to share. If you host a party or event, consider asking your guests to bring canned goods that you can collect and drop off at your local foodbank or shelter. Contact your local town or Municipal office to see if there is a foodbank in your community, or check here (scroll through the list to find your community)
Sponsor a family. Many local food banks, churches and organizations put together hampers to support families during the holiday season. Consider working with one of these groups to sponsor an individual or family. You can contact your local town office to find out who helps coordinate Christmas Cheer in your community.
Samaritan’s Purse shoe box. Operation Christmas Child provides a shoe box filled with little gifts for children in need worldwide that are delivered by Samaritan’s Purse. If you don’t know what to pack or missed the deadline, did you know that you can pack a shoebox online? You send a donation amount and they create the shoe box for you. Donate a Box (samaritanspurse.ca).
Restock your communities local ‘little free library’. Don’t have a little free library in your community but interested in this initiative? Check out this site for ideas: Start Your Own Little Free Library - Little Free Library.
Pay it forward. Buy the person behind you in line a cup of coffee. Hold the door open for others. Give a generous tip to your server. A little act of kindness goes a long way!
Give back to those around you. Shovel a driveway for someone who may be unable to get out and do it themselves. Bake a batch of cookies and drop them off for someone in need. Deliver a secret gift for a neighbor who helps you out.
Volunteer at your local soup kitchen or foodbank. The volunteers who keep this afloat work tirelessly, give them a little helping hand during the holiday season. Home - Manitoba 211.
Donate items that you no longer use. Maybe there are some gently used clothes, toys, canned goods or appliances that you don’t need. Donate them to a thrift store, Diabetes Canada or local organization. It’s also a great way to declutter during the holidays.
Spend time with those who may be alone during the holiday season - residents in PCH, assisted living or hospitals. These facilities often welcome visitors (although COVID has made this difficult so check with the facility you would like to visit). You can read stories, play card games, perform holiday songs or just spend time chatting. If you’re not allowed in the facility maybe you can decorate outdoors so the residents can look out the window and see some Christmas cheer.
Donate Blood. Holiday season is prone to more accidents on the road, therefore donating blood is especially important at this time. You can book an appointment through Canadian Blood Services | Canada's Lifeline.
Make cards and crafts for the elderly and/or homeless. Hand deliver them with a smile!
Don’t forget about the animals! You can donate to your local shelter. Drop off food, blankets, toys or lend a helping hand and spend some time with furry friends!